Shane van Gisbergen remains perfect in Chicago with Xfinity Series win

CHICAGO — Shane van Gisbergen passed Jesse Love for the lead with three laps to go and pulled away to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in the streets of Chicago.

Van Gisbergen has won the past two races in Chicago. He is defending winner of Sunday’s Cup race (4:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock).

Van Gisbergen’s victory Saturday is his third in a row on a road course, tying the series record shared by AJ Allmendinger and Terry Labonte.

MORE: Xfinity race results

MORE: Xfinity driver points

Ty Gibbs finished second and Kyle Larson placed third. Parker Kligerman went from the back of the field at the start for an engine change to finish fourth. Love completed the top five.

Larson and van Gisbergen provided a thrilling show for much of the first half of the 50-lap race on the 12-turn, 2.2-mile course.

They traded the lead five times in the first 23 laps. At one point, van Gisbergen gave a thumbs up sign to Larson behind him.

“I was having a blast,” Larson said afterward. “Obviously, I wanted to win, but I wanted to learn more than anything. I wanted to get to battle with him because he’s just really good at creating shapes and angles passing. That was an objective of mine. The first opportunity I got, I wanted to get racing because I just didn’t know if I would have another opportunity to race with him.”

Van Gisbergen called it “awesome fun” to race Larson.

“I had a blast,” he said.

Van Gisbergen said he was learning from Larson during the race, “some of his techniques and lines and car placement was very, very different to mine. I adapted a bit to him, especially Turn 6, how he would brake and turn was amazing how he got the car to rotate. I thought my car doesn’t have enough front grip. Then when I adapted to what he was doing, my car was fixed. So I learned a lot as well.”

Stage 1 winner: Shane van Gisbergen

Stage 2 winner: Austin Hill

Who had a good race: Parker Kligerman’s fourth-place finish was his best of the season and his fifth top 10 in the last six races. … Connor Mosack finished sixth in his first Xfinity start of the season. … Joey Logano placed eighth. He was driving the No. 15 for AM Racing in place of Hailie Deegan. Logano gave the team its best finish of the year. … Austin Green placed 10th, giving him three top-10 finishes in his first four career Xfinity starts.

Who had a bad race: Chandler Smith, who entered the race second in the points, finished last in the 38-car field after an engine failure. It was the third engine issue for Joe Gibbs Racing on the weekend. The teams of John Hunter Nemechek and Sheldon Creed changed engines before Saturday’s race. Smith fell to third in the points.

Next: The series races July 13 at Pocono Raceway (3 p.m. ET on USA)

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